Federal officials warned Thursday that tainted infant formula from China may be on sale at ethnic groceries in this country, even though it is not legally approved for importation.
The Food and Drug Administration urged U.S. consumers to avoid all infant formula from China, after several brands sold in that country came under suspicion of being contaminated with melamine, a chemical used in plastics. Officials said there have been reports from China of babies developing serious kidney problems as a result.
Melamine is the same chemical involved in a massive pet food recall last year. (The recall responsible for Whiskers' murder by the unscrupulous Chinese.) It is not supposed to be added to any food ingredients, but unscrupulous suppliers in China sometimes mix it in to make foodstuffs appear to be high in protein. Melamine is nitrogen rich, and standard tests for protein in bulk food ingredients measure levels of nitrogen.